The former commander of the scandal-tainted 372nd MP Company is warning us not to blame Abu Ghraib on a handful of depraved soldiers."These actions were the result of huge command failures," he says in a Washington Post op-ed today.
The senior person charged thus far is Ivan L. Frederick, a staff sergeant. In an MP company, a person of his rank is normally placed in charge of a squad of 11 soldiers. I refuse to believe that no leader above Frederick was aware of or complicit in the abuses that were apparently widespread throughout the prison. While certain officers were relieved of their commands and other leaders were given letters of reprimand, the failure of unit leaders, from company to brigade, is stunning.The 372nd has approximately 150 soldiers and is divided into five platoons, four of which consist of MPs. The company commander is directly responsible for all actions taken by his soldiers, or those that they fail to take. The 372nd's commander and the relevant platoon leader either knew or should have known of the actions of their subordinates, as should have their noncommissioned officers. All these leaders failed in their most basic responsibilities of supervising their soldiers in the performance of their duties. (via Phil Carter)THERE'S MORE: Speaking of command failures, top Pentagon officials still can't agree on who was running the show at Abu Ghraib. At a Senate hearing yesterday, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba and under secretary of defense for intelligence Stephen Cambone, "contradicted each other about who was in charge," according to Slate.
Taguba said that the top commander in Iraqagainst Army doctrinegave military intel people final control. The Pentagon official, undersecretary for intelligence Stephen Cambone, said the order put military intel in charge of the prison "facility," not the guards.Taguba and senators noted that the abuses came in the fall after the then-commander of Guantanamo Bay visited Abu Ghraib and suggested "special operating procedures" to "Gitmo-ize" the prison and help guards "set the conditions" for interrogations. That general, Geoffrey Miller, is now head of the Iraqi prison system and his trip was recommended by Cambone."AND MORE: "The abuse and humiliation actually took place at 3 prisons in the Baghdad area," a senior military intelligence NCO tells Soldiers for the Truth. "This was not done by accident, it was a planned, systematic way to break down the prisoners will to resist any interrogation, degrade them and then blackmail them into working for US Intelligence."AND MORE: "I was instructed by persons in higher rank to stand there and hold this leash and look at the camera," says Pfc. Lynndie England, the woman who's become infamous worldwide for her grinning portraits of abuse.